The Advantage Letter by Dave Martin
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Wednesday, November 01, 2023
Volume 29 | # 684
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"When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear." » Thomas Sowell

Cue the Dancing Gopher

I had the opportunity recently of attending one of the shows of Kenny Loggins’ final tour.

I did a few online searches and watched various Loggins clips leading up to it.

I’m also sure I mentioned Kenny Loggins many times in conversations with friends before and after, as well.

I have been reminded regularly of how closely we are all monitored 24/7.

I still get a steady diet of Loggins, and various Yacht Rock acts promoted whenever I visit YouTube or Facebook. 

That said, I watched a clip from a Loggins’ interview last week that made me smile.

In it, he talked about becoming the “King of Movie Soundtracks.”

It began with his very first soundtrack hit, “I’m Alright” for the movie “Caddyshack.”

The funny part of the story was that after he had the song written, he had to drive to a studio to play the song for the powers that be.

He was alone with his acoustic guitar and needed an onsite drummer he had never met to accompany him.

To his dismay, that drummer wasn’t very good.

Loggins originally wanted a much more syncopated rhythm. (I didn’t know what that meant, either.)  

The guy there couldn’t play what he envisioned, so Loggins simplified the drums to the most basic banging on rhythm he could think of.

He explained that he was happy the producers liked the potential of the song enough to give it the greenlight, even with such amateurish percussion.

Loggins went back to the studio to clean things up and get a professional drum track laid. 

After many attempts, he realized he couldn’t find anything that sounded better or fit the feel of the song more than the basic banging the borrowed drummer had played.

“I’m Alright” became a big hit and Loggins soon became the “soundtrack king.”

I smiled, remembering that our best-laid plans don’t always turn out as we imagined.

And that might just be a good thing if we take a moment to appreciate what we have and not what we hoped for.

Beyond that, our first interactions with or impressions of people don’t always tell the whole story.

How often have you not immediately hit it off with a new coworker, supervisor, or customer… only to later develop great relationships?

Things may go just as you planned today.

Then again, they might not.

And that might be the best thing to happen for you all week.  

Always Be Learning

One of our favorite pubs in Houston was closed for the better part of a year.

It sits across the street from a theater my son frequently performs in, and it was his favorite lunch spot. I got to know the manager and spoke several times with her about the challenges of the restaurant business.

Sadly, problems with their franchisor forced them to close.

Before they did, she told my son they planned on returning, but I figured that was wishful thinking. It was abandoned for many months.

But, sure enough, the place is now making a comeback. I walked in a couple of weeks ago during their “soft opening” and the manager remembered me.

She laughed and told me to let my son know they expected him in his regular seat again soon.

I popped in again while in the area on Saturday. While admiring their upgrades, I noticed that the door to their adjacent outdoor area, which also has a stage and wall-projected TV, was open.

I walked through and greeted the maintenance guy I encountered.

He asked if he could help me, and I told him that I was just happy they were reopening and was taking a look at the changes they'd made.

As we chatted, I noticed that he was quite knowledgeable about the business.

When he introduced himself, I realized his was the name on the sign.

He is now the sole owner and was there cleaning up on a Saturday. He cheerfully offered me a tour.

Along the way, he showed me the new stage being built and shared his plans to have karaoke nights featuring theater performers from across the street. (I loved that idea.)

I complimented the neat touches he has added to the restaurant and asked questions about his marketing plans.

He was clearly happy to share his thinking and asked my opinion on several things.

Yes, I referenced the old in-store branch marketing playbook. He loved several of the ideas.

As we chatted, I thought of advice I’ve given to thousands of bankers about calling on business owners.

Ask upbeat and positive questions. Let folks talk/brag about their businesses. Pay attention. Pay compliments.

Offer feedback if asked for it. Offer help and/or plant seeds for your next chat. Then, follow up.

When we set out to pay compliments and make new friends, we find relationships (and business opportunities) where many others won’t.

Whose business can you learn about this week? 

"Failure is not the opposite of success: it's part of success." » Arianna Huffington

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these columns are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of any affiliated entities or sponsors.
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Dave Martin has become one of the most prolific writers in the banking industry. His columns and newsletters are read in thousands of financial institutions each month. His keynote presentations, seminars, and podcasts have an authenticity and humor that brings teams of all sizes and seniority levels together.

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